Worshipers pray during the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting at the Civic Center, Tuesday evening. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Mackey Ventures and Put God First Ministries Inc. hosted a kick-off for the second annual 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting event Tuesday at the Roswell Civic Center.
The event featured elected officials such as State Rep. Nora Espinoza and Sen. Cliff Pirtle, as well as local area pastors such as Richard Gorham of Ware Tabernacle Baptist Church. The aforementioned special guest along with Mary Wooton, and Fire Chief Chad Hamill, all prayed for the leaders of the city, the citizens of the city, Israel and those in uniform serving the country both overseas and in the United States. These prayers came after a proclamation from Mayor Del Jurney declaring Jan. 8 through Jan. 29 to be days of fasting and praying.
Doctor Scott Mcmahon, who’s been practicing medicine in Roswell for almost 20 years, was also in attendance and discussed the health aspects of prayer and fasting. He began by defining both terms and went into detail about the different types of fasting. He explained that one should choose a fasting type based on their experience with the practice as well as their medical history. Beginners should try a fast that abstains only from meats and bread as opposed to no food at all. He also discussed fasts from sin and day-to-day activities such as watching television or visiting social networking sites.
Natasha Mackey, event coordinator, said that last year’s event went well, though there were issues getting people to meet at one particular venue for 21 days. This year, she said the goal was to make the event easily accessible to the entire community. For the next 21 days, anyone who wishes to participate in the prayer portion of the event can join the conference call. Those who wish to join the call can call, 530-881-1000 from 7 to 8 p.m. each night and use the access code 815906. Mackey said the feature is very user friendly and callers will be guided through the process by an automated voice before joining the rest of the prayers. Each night there will be a new prayer topic and Mackey encourages everyone to visit the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting event page on Facebook.
Espinoza said she believes the event is key for the city to move forward and has no doubt that the power of prayer can affect changes in the city much like it has in her own life.
“I believe that God is the center of everything in our lives,” she said. “I believe that very strongly, and he’s an integral part of who I am.”
Mackey is pleased at how far the event has grown since its inception in 2011 as well as how it has united prominent people in Roswell with the rest of the community members.
“I think today was a wonderful cross-section of our community,” she said. “We had pastors, we had state representatives, we had city officials here and it was a great success. Most importantly, the Lord was here.”